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City Infernal (City Infernal #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,410 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
Hell is a city. Forget the old-fashioned sulphurous pit you may have read about. Over the millennia, Hell has evolved into a bustling metropolis with looming skyscrapers, crowded streets, systemized evil, and atrocity as the status quo.

Cassie thought she knew all about Hell. But when her twin sister, Lissa, committed suicide, Cassie found that she was able to travel to the
Mass Market Paperback, 366 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Leisure Books (first published 2001)
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
Oct 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* by: Jeff
Edward Lee again goes full frontal on the gore assault front. This beginning of a series is worthy with it's world-building, unusual premise, and build-up.

Since I'm more of a character-orientated reader than a plot-driven one, the characters being a bit one-dimensional wasn't welcome. Cassie's powers seem to come too easily without training but again, that belongs in the story. She's reasonably likeable, although her sister is not. The dad is also enjoyable but was kept in the background as fod
2.0 stars. This book was a disappointment because I was really expecting to enjoy it based on the premise. The only real positive thing I can say about the book is that many of the descriptions of Hell were pretty cool (in a Saturday night gore-fest kind of way). However, after a while even those began to come across more like slapstick horror rather than truly frightening. The book was decent and a fast read but it could have been so much better.
Roberto Andonie
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm embarrassed by how much I enjoyed this dumb book. It was a decadent, self indulgent experience akin to binge-watch that reality show about those guys getting killed by their pets, while eating deep fried crap and drinking beer for a full weekend. Every now and then realizing how bad this is, while trying to ignore the shame of how much I'm liking it, and the guilt at knowing I would continue with it.
I don't know who to recommend it to, though.
Its full of (unintentional) cringe-worthy scenes
Phil Elmore
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I bought "City Infernal" used through one of Amazon's shops after the ad in the back of another horror novel caught my eye. I was intrigued by the idea of Hell as a city of horrors and curious as to how Lee would envision it. I enjoyed the same idea in the novelization of the film "Constantine" and was looking for more.

Lee surprised me with a remarkably entertaining and frequently fresh look at an old subject -- what would Hell be like? He creates a mythos around his Mephistopolis, the City of
Feb 25, 2009 rated it liked it
The plot was OK as were some of the one-dimensional characters, but the description of hell was worth the price of the book.

The idea of hell and being punished for an eternity has always freaked me out, but some of the eternal punishments mentioned in City Infernal affected me in a bad way--e.g., being processed as insect dung, jammed into a metal can and throw into a pit of fire, or strung up and used as a demon's breeding mare so he can sacrifice your offspring over and over again.

Lee's descr
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Before reading this I saw a lot of reviews saying it is worth reading just for edward lees depiction of hell. Being an edward lee fan I expected it to be good but what suprised me is that his visions are more about the miserable living conditions than the pain and torture that is usually written about. Yes there is torture involved but I have read that before, one of my favorite parts is how they bust open sewage lines and walk around in a combination of excrement and corps sludge just to keep t ...more
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you want to read about a fun romp through Hell and back again, with a lot of gruesome imagery and tongue-in-cheek humor, then this book is for you! Unfortunately, with this author's rep, I was expecting a horror story. What I got felt like an R-rated, overly long Scooby Doo episode.

But YOU might like it more!
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book was VERY interesting. It's not something that I recommend reading while you're eating if you're easily grossed out. And probably not a good idea to read it when you have to sleep alone, like I did. The ending wasn't as good as the rest of the book, which was a little disappointing. But overall, a very good book and very interesting!
Keith A
Jul 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really thought this was going to be an interesting read based on the premise. It turned out to be complete trash. Horrible writing that seemed to be written for young adults.
Aug 02, 2009 marked it as horror
This. Book. Is. Shit.

Nothing in it was remotely scary or well written.

It....I cannot do this.

goddamn it sucked.
Nov 12, 2010 rated it liked it
First in the series. Very imaginative. Severely messed up :)
Robert Beveridge
Jan 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished, cle-pub-lib
Edward Lee, City Infernal (Leisure, 2003)

Edward Lee has been around, it seems, just about forever as far as horror authors go. During the eighties, he was considered one of the rising stars, going so far as to get some of his stories in the then-groundbreaking Night Visions anthology (and "Doing Colfax" will never be erased from my memory). Then the horror market died. Lee, unlike many of his brethren, continued to publish in small specialty presses. Those books are now worth a small fortune. An
Nov 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Of all the Dante's Infernal rip-offs I've read...and that's quite a few books...This may be the strangest. The author scuttles the seven circles completely and goes for a cross between The Land of Oz and Detroit. However, Mr. Lee does have a nice plot going for him; Goth twin is guilty about "causing" her other twin's suicide and discovers a way to go to hell to ask for forgiveness. The plot is actually a bit more complex than that. But the plot is secondary to the machinations of Hell's politic ...more
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
I get it: Hell has become a city (named Mephistopolis - I guess creativity is lacking there) that thrives on pain and suffering and Satan is the big-daddy CEO who lives in the 666 tower in the center of town. Ok, then what?

I asked myself that question for nearly 400 pages, and the answers were few and mostly feeble. So I moved on to the sequel in hopes of better story, and discovered . . .
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
If you are interested in reading this book based off of Lee's reputation for writing gross and over the top fiction, you're going to be severely let down. You won't find his usual style in this novel, but rather something refreshing and extremely well written.

Lee presents a disturbingly fascinating mix of reality and fantasy within this novel. From the peeping tom to the pill dropped into a beer to the masturbating one armed man; Lee presents it all with a certain eye of raw realism that one oft
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
Anyone looking for something totally different in Horror should consider reading something from Edward Lee. He crosses the line between between good taste and just plain nasty splatter horror and sex.
Well, lets put it this way, there is no line he crosses. He doesn't operate or write with good taste, becasue it's not what he does. He delivers what people want and writes what he likes.

With City Infernal, which is the second time I read this book, he delivers a look at Hell that is so different a
Aug 25, 2009 rated it liked it
I really liked the first 2 thirds of this. Good writing, funny, nice characters and one superb foray into the imagingings and machinations of "HELL". Very graphic and put you right there. Good Stuff.

However as things went on I started to get a bit fed up of the constant rules of Hell and it began to read like some kind of fantasy romp;

"Put this bone with that bone, then lick that demons ear and you will be invisible. Oh no the Kraxon has a toolo pimlet that lets him see invisibles so we need to
Bob Fingerman
Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Edward Lee always delivers energetic reads, but my favorites by far are his "Infernal" series. The stories are page-turners and his characters engrossing, but it's his depiction of Hell that keeps me coming back for more; it's fresh, vital and alarming at times. His descriptions of the architecture, the denizens (both demons and damned souls), the fashions, the guilds, the bureaucracy and so forth, are a gruesome delight.

Maybe some of my fondness comes from having imagined Hell similarly (insof
Apr 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
I know what I am supposed to write in criticism of this book, which I rated one star to: Ooooooh, I was soooooo shocked! It was so horrifying!! Golly gee, what a bizarre and brutal place Hell is!!!

The truth is, I wasn't shocked, I wasn't horrified, I wasn't offended: I was just bored. To paraphrase Iggy Pop......I was the Chairman of the Bored when I read this book.

One good thing learned from this experiment: do not assume that you will like any horror genre book; read all the reviews, even the
Angie crosby
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alex, horror
Another AWESOME book! it was great. The best book i've read perhaps. There is a second book continuing the story. I can't wait to read it. In this book, Hell is a city filled with horror. Evil and Atrocity are the status quo When Cassie's sister commits suicide, her life chances forever. Soon she discovers she can travel to hell itself. She goes, the only living person in hell, to find her sister, Lissa. It was gory, gross, and twisted. I loved it. I'd recommend it. I'll be reading it again. I'm ...more
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I was a little torn on how to rate this book. The ideas that Lee presents are strong. He is very descriptive, almost too much so at points, causing one or two chapters to drag. His characters are interesting. But, they are a little too know-it-all for the positions they are in and that seemed to play a little too conveniently into the plot at times.

Just the same, Lee does put together a good story that has me wanting to read further into the series....after a short break.

3 1/2 STARS
Scott Holstad
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the most creative (and grotesque) books I've ever read. Hell has never been described like this before. The plot is crazy good. The character development is a bit stiff, and the writing's not as smooth as some other authors', but it's a damn good book. Certainly worth reading if one likes horror novels.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read a little bit of this book a long time ago, but never got into it but I'm glad I did. The plot was insane!! The characters & there development was really good. The details about hell were really cool & it makes you really think what it's like. I think this book was a great read & I can't wait to read the rest of the series
Synamon Sugar
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The only reason I read this book is because I ran into a friend at the library and she practically shoved it into my hands. I had low expectations, but I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. The beginning was a bit strange but after Lissa offed herself, the story really picked up and I got attached to the characters. I can't wait to read the sequel.
Martin Milhomme
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing, Cassie takes a wild ride into hell to look for her twin sister who damned herself by committing suicide. Edward Lee never fails to disturb, gross out, make you think a little and totally entertain all in one book. Simply one of the best horror novels I have ever read. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Shara Sy
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
the book was amazing, like always. Edward lee continues to horrify me in a good way haha the trilogy is absolutely amazing. the hell he created was spectacular i think this book made me fear hell more than the bible ever did hahaha it was so graphic not for the faint of heart and for weak stomachs!
Gavin Hurley
Mar 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teens getting into extreme horror
Shelves: extreme-horror
It is a bit of a teen novel but Lee does not dillute the content or the writing. It is about a teen girl who descends into Hell. Incredible dipiction of Hell. Great images. Great use of mythology as well! Recommended to all!
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Immature, crude, and not so scary but supremely fun!
Nov 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to A.R. by: Leisure
I liked Infernal Angel better, but that's probably 'cause I read that first. I thought it was a smokin' book though.

Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Many of the books I've read lately (especially those by contemporary writers) were pretentious pieces of crap, that were taking themselves way too seriously, and went out of their ways to tackle some major social issue, or to support a popular cause, while forgetting to also be entertaining in the process. Edward Lee's "City infernal" was, for the most part, the total opposite. It is novel that likes to joke on its own behalf, and to sometimes just have some bloody mindless fun, whether by intro ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Edward Lee was born (er, jettisoned) into the world on May 25, 1957, and was raised in Bowie, Md. He has sold 15 novels and continues to pursue the ludicrous profession of freelance writing. From 1976-79, he served in the U.S. Army Security Agency and then was transferred to the 1st Armored Division in Erlangen,
More about Edward Lee...

Other Books in the Series

City Infernal (4 books)
  • Infernal Angel (City Infernal, #2)
  • House Infernal (City Infernal, #3)
  • Lucifer's Lottery

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“On the coldest day of winter, I wouldn't give you the steam off my shit” 27 likes
“Here, though, the police do not exist to protect and serve. They exist to maintain terror through unimaginable atrocity.” 0 likes
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